Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When I'm 64

Sigh. Another health study, another bit of confusing news. Check out this latest from the NYTimes, now saying a few drinks in old age may be good for you.

One of the things I find most confusing about eating (and drinking) is weighing all the conflicting info from all these so-called studies.

I don't mean to dismiss the importance of this type of medical research, but could somebody please tell all these health writers to provide a little more context to the depth and breadth of the studies -- or at least approach them with a bit of skepticism? I'm tired of reporters just taking a study and regurgitating its findings in simple terms --- what about getting an outside expert's opinion, for crying out loud?

Having a glass of wine can put you on the fast-track for breast cancer, according to some studies, and lessen your risk of heart attacks and Alzheimers, according to others -- how are we readers to synthesize all this info?

I'm ranting, but shoddy or phoned-in health reporting is a pet peeve. Remember that article a week ago that highlighted a study showing that working out isn't all that effective for losing weight?

Umm...yes. That's because many people work out for 20 minutes and then feel they have free license to eat a pepperoni pizza. Only after opening with the heart-stopping news that gym visits are useless if you're trying to lose weight did the article go on to mention the real point of the study: that some people sabotage their own efforts by overeating when they work out.

Was that a secret? Seriously...did anyone not know that if you overeat regularly you need to workout to an insane degree if you want to lose weight?

But that's not going to sell magazines and draw eyeballs to web pages. So the article boiled down the study's findings to say, 'Hey, you're wasting your time with all that working out. It's not gonna help you.'

Totally wrong conclusion, and a defeating bit of misinformation out there in the ether for those of us battling the bulge.

Am I the only one who gets irritated by this sort of thing?

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